Kanjo Life Dictates
Riding the Kanjo

I won’t mention who I was with or what exactly we got up to, but a few weeks ago I had my very first Kanjo experience. Up until that point all I knew about the Osaka Loop was that in its heyday it was a playground for many Honda enthusiasts in the Kansai region of Japan. Much like the Shutoko battles that brought Tokyo’s highway racing underworld to light, unless you have a chance to experience it, you can’t possibly fully understand what it’s all about. Until you’re actually sitting there, harnessed deep into a racing seat, the adrenaline levels just aren’t the same. But despite the dangers associated with sort of activity, I’m glad I got a chance to experience it. Because along with that firsthand knowledge comes much understanding for the people that choose to live the Kanjo lifestyle.

The whole Honda scene in and around Osaka has always interested me. I always had the question in my mind, if these guys are doing what they are doing, why don’t they choose cars that can yield lots more power? But then I saw what they get up to, and I quickly realised that unlike on the Wangan or Shuto, Kanjo is not about sheer horsepower.


With this newfound knowledge I couldn’t help but ask myself, so what is a modern-day Kanjo car all about? Well luckily Furukawa-san at Car Craft Boon – the man behind the Osaka JDM brand – has a perfect example that he was able to show me.


Going by the main notion that you aren’t going to find huge turbochargers bolted on to custom fabricated manifolds, or wild Scandinavian-type engine swaps under the bonnets of these Civics, they do have their own unique quality about them. It’s just all in the details.


JDM tuning culture continues to evolve at a pretty rampant pace and the whole Kanjo movement has been surfing that wave of change just as much as other scene. You see, building a competent Osaka Loop racer has become as much of a priority as creating one that ticks all the right sort of boxes when it comes to current style – something the EK9 Civic Type R Furukawa-san let me check out seemed to be doing quite well. Exterior wise, the body has been kept close to stock, with only a few small touches added here and there spice things up. Like the painted carbon fiber Spoon Sports bonnet which is slightly raised on its hinges in an effort to rid hot air from the engine bay.


The front bumper has been removed from its factory mounts and is secured in place by Password JDM quick-release fasteners. You would think this would be a more drift-oriented modification, but here it is in this very specific Honda scene too. I guess it comes in handy at shows or meets to remove the bumper quickly to show off what mods you are hiding within.


A carbon fiber air scoop mounted over the stock side intake is there to direct air up into the engine bay and help the aftermarket induction kit to breath a fresh supply of air.


Then of course, there’s the stance. Much like the older EF Civics that attracted Kanjo racers years ago, it’s all about making the car sit as low as it will go – both for looks as well as a sheer need to keep the car rock solid while slaloms through the traffic. And much of that sort of thing goes on in any Kanjo run, let me tell you! Car Craft Boon have developed their own line up of Osaka JDM coilovers, which are precisely what the EK9 sits on.


Throw in a set of 15-inch Osaka JDM Loop 5 versions of the Work Meister CR-01s and you have achieved the perfect look. Simple, yet very effective.


More carbon is found at the rear – except you have to really look for it as the Spoon Sports roof spoiler has been painted in Championship White to seamlessly blend in with the rest of the exterior bodywork.


Rear suspension geometry was important in not only making the car handle, but having it sit just right. This is something achieved first through Osaka JDM rear lower control arms and then with a DC Sports tie bar. Devil camber has no place here.


A billed Blackworks Racing rear tow bar is the only real noticeable addition to the rear end, and is a nice piece that follows the simplistic theme that we have noted so far.

A bigger heart

Okay, so now is when things begin to get interesting. Subtleness is once again the main theme under the bonnet, but rather than working with the EK9 Type R’s factory B16B, the owner along with Furukawa-san decided to swap in an engine with more potential.


In its place is a B18C from a DC2 Integra Type R, adding 200cc of capacity and 20 or so more horses straight out of the box. To get the most out of the Civic’s new heart a full Fujitsubo exhaust system that begins with a stainless steel manifold was installed.


On the intake side the custom induction system attempts to breathe air in from the coolest corner of the engine bay which is fed from that aforementioned carbon scoop in the bumper. This in-turn is connected to a larger diameter Skunk2 throttle body which persuades the engine to take bigger gulps of air. With these few upgrades the stock ECU is able to compensate and get the most out of the set up while helping VTEC to kick in with an almighty YO!


Baffling the radiator and helping boost its cooling efficiency this carbon/Kevlar panel was a nice addition, as are the matching blue Password JDM aluminium washers used around the engine bay.


The interior gives you a good idea of how the car gets used. For starters, the original Type R-spec Recaro driver side seat has been replaced in favour of a Recaro SPG bucket – a must-have to contain the driver when weaving through traffic during midnight runs on the Kanjo. There’s also a Nardi steering wheel mounted on a snap-off boss to help getting in and out of the heavily bolstered seat, and a Willans harness.


I don’t know what it is, but JDM cars of the late ’90s to early ’00s vintage seem to be immune to ageing. Even the stock Type R instrumentation with its carbon look and 10,000rpm tachometer is beautifully simple and still very much modern looking. With all these new-gen turbo engine powering modern cars these days, tachos like these will soon become a thing of the past!


The door-side air vent has been sacrificed to house an A’PEXi oil temperature gauge; something that is helped along by an oil cooler mounted behind the front bumper that keeps the B18C nice and happy. Water temperature on the other hand is kept in check with a Pivot digital meter mounted on the steering column shroud, right behind the Nardi’s deeply dished spokes.


In a tuning world where it seems the constant pursuit to shock and impress is becoming the main focus of why people take on builds, it’s refreshing to see those that stay true to their calling.


The Kanjo calls for a very specific kind of car. It dictates the sort of tuning one has to focus on, and I’m pleased to say that I finally understand what this group of enthusiasts in Japan are all about. Perhaps the best thing of all is seeing how they’ve evolved the whole movement – keeping it fresh, but at the same time very real.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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This doesn't seem quite like a kanjo racer to me, more like it's simply a lowered civic with a big motor. To me it has too much interior and not enough cage for the kanjo. And it's too clean!!!


Mmm... I need a set of those wheels for my 'vic


Great to see some Civic love.


This and the Kanjo Civic replicas I saw at Cars and Coffee Irvine makes me really want a Civic. But, in Michigan every Civic is 70% rust and 20% broken.


Subtlenessisationicity indeed...


Interesting little USDM touches, NRG hub, DC Sports tie bar, and Blackworks tow hook.


3nigm4  I have to agree, for me the quintessential kanjo touch is the big tires and big white tire lettering like pic posted above.


@flushpoke 3nigm4 I'd say it needs those famous graphics


EricSeanDelaney That's pretty cool


3nigm4  Yeah there are various interpretations of it, this is a street registered version that gets used as a daily:)


oneslyfox  Nice uh


Is it a genuine EK9? Because of the 4-lug.. Original EK9 do have the 5x114,3 hubs?
Not that it really matters, it's a perfect handling, little Kanjo.


I really like this civic a sweet ride...


I'm just going to sit here and wait till the blood reaches my head again.


Osaka JDM Loop 5 alloys, 17×8-inch front, 17×8.5-inch rear, Nankang tyres 185/45R15 front, 195/40R15 rear

17 inch wheels with 15 inch tire that is some fucked up ninja shit


I'd like to clarify an aero misunderstanding in this article. The base of the windscreen in road vehicles (or road based racecars) is a high pressure zone. So raising the back edge of the hood does not extract air from the engine compartment but actually forces it in. Combine this with the high pressure seen at the front of the engine bay around the radiator and the raised hood trick can decrease the effectiveness of a front mounted cooling system.
To effectively use the aero flow over the hood (bonnet) as an extraction mechanism vents must be placed in areas of lower pressure. Usually these are seen about 12-18 inches back from the leading edge of the car. All of these methods also interact with the under body flow so that must also be taken into account.
As a side note the high pressure area at the base of the windscreen is actually used as a "ram" air intake in NASCAR, where one can see the filter housing opening to the area discussed.


The ''ticks all the boxes'' phrase is perversely overused on this site. As for the car, I wouldn't look at it twice. And I like a good civic. It looks so boring, mediocre and not-special in any way. But the author of this text would probably say that's what's so special about it.


- dip the wheels in cold water
- heat the tyres with a blow torch
- apply superhuman force




It's nice to see people sticking with the trusty B18s and not go for the popular K20 swap that has taken over the Honda scene. Bravo.


@manu  somone faild, those wheels are not 17'' and a 15'' tire will never fit a 17'' wheel


marshalljung  Great explanation. This should be common knowledge in car enthusiast circles by now...


MattAtDoyle  I agree. Awesome engine.


Mechanophile  Indeed ;)


Arghrargh marshalljung  I stand corrected :)


WideWorks  My bad, they are 15s haha


hi speedhunters, can you please find a suzuki swift community in japan and take a nice pictures with it and upload to this awesome website? im just curious. are there any cool suzuki swift club or just a suzuki club in there? because i never seen it. 
(sorry for my very very bad english you guys. i hope you understand it.)

thanks a lot :)


I love cars like this. Trends come and go but cars like this keep things real and timeless.


Kay_Wilmsen EK4


marshalljung Thanks for the explanation


wheatgod I agree. In a previous article  about kanjo racing Civics  stripped caged interiors looked much more race oriented tha this one. But the thing I miss the most on this EG6 is the livery which it was once very common if I'm not mistaken.



Here's the car for everyone via XCar Films


Arghrargh marshalljung  I agree


Do you even Kanjo, bro?


Kay_Wilmsen  I'd bet on it being a real EK9 that has been converted to 4-lug (which I would personally do on a CTR / ITR for a number of reasons) so that they can run their Loop 5 wheels. If you look at the rest of the car it has all the right bits and pieces (lights / grill / badging / interior / larger brake booster / strut brace etc) that I would be AMAZED to see a Japanese go to the length of upgrading an EK4 to that extent. They simply aren't as mental about that stuff as we are and plus CTRs are a dime a dozen there ($5k or less) these days.


speedhunters_dino MattAtDoyle  I think he was inspired by Leroy at SLB ;)


Awesome. Very clean car. No overdone stance or ratty look. At the same time it's unique too. Sweet! Good post!


The perfect Honda


like it (y) , How many horses?